Shimla, Jan 22 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh capital along with Manali and Dalhousie on Tuesday witnessed the season’s heaviest snowfall that snapped road links. However, tourists made merry, hurling snowballs at each another.
“Shimla and its nearby areas have been experiencing snowfall,” a Meteorological Department official told IANS.
Dharamsala recorded the highest 47.4 mm of rain and snowfall turned places like Kufri and Narkanda into white blankets, the official said.
Met office Director Manmohan Singh said that heavy snowfall might continue in Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Chamba districts till Wednesday.
With heavy snowfall, tourists flocked to this resort destination.
“We are seeing snowfall for the first time. For the past few days we had been desperately waiting for the onset of it,” said Payal Maheswari, a tourist from New Delhi.
Shimla, which saw a low of minus 0.7 degree Celsius, recorded more than a feet and a half of snow, while Kufri and Mashobra recorded more than two feet of snow each. The day’s temperature in Shimla was 1.9 degrees, a fall from Monday’s 12.1 degrees.
The snowy landscape in Shimla will stay this way for four-five days, an official of the Met department said.
Some of the areas in Jubbal, Narkanda and Kharapathar also reportedly experienced snow, affecting the road network.
“High-altitude areas of Lahaul-Spiti, Chamba, Kullu, Kinnaur and Shimla districts have been experiencing moderate to heavy snowfall,” the official said.
Manali, which saw over a foot of snow, experienced a temperature of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius while the Solang ski slopes, Kothi and Gulaba also had snowfall.
Kalpa, 250 km from the state capital, and Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district experienced heavy spells of snowfall.
Lower areas like Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur and Mandi received moderate to heavy rain, bringing down the temperature considerably.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur walked from the secretariat to his official residence Oak Over to get a first hand look at the situation.
The snow has cut off Kinnaur district and towns in Shimla district such as Narkanda, Jubbal, Kotkhai, Kumarsain, Kharapathar, Rohru and Chopal, an official said.
Even road connectivity to Dalhousie and Manali was hampered.
The road link to towns in upper Shimla is likely to be restored by Wednesday, the official said.
Officials said the bad weather had affected the road network in the higher reaches of Kinnaur, Shimla, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu and Sirmaur districts and efforts were being made to reopen the roads.